7 Sep 2015

McCaw the 'most powerful' in world rugby

1:06 pm on 7 September 2015

The All Blacks captain Richie McCaw has been deemed the most powerful figure in world rugby according to the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph.

McCaw tops a 50-strong list that has former Irish centre Brian O'Driscoll at number two and former England first five-eighth Jonny Wilkinson, whose extra-time drop goal won the 2003 Rugby World Cup, third.

England's 2003 World Cup-winning captain Martin Johnson is next, followed by Wallabies former skipper John Eales, Wales' New Zealand coach Warren Gatland, Australian halfback Nick Farr-Jones, and All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, with former England coach Clive Woodward and 1995 Springboks World Cup icon Francois Pienaar rounding out the top 10.

The paper says "New Zealand's attempt to make World Cup history by becoming the first team to retain the Webb Ellis trophy will weigh heavily on the shoulders of McCaw, arguably the greatest All Black of all time".

Richie McCaw led the All Blacks to their second World Cup title in 2011 and has been awarded the IRB Player of the Year a record three times.

Riche McCaw with the Webb Ellis Trophy. Photo: AFP

"McCaw not only goes into the tournament as the world's most capped player, with 142 at the time of writing, but also boasting a remarkable win ratio of over 90% during the 105 games he has captained the All Blacks - including the 2011 final victory against France."

Richie McCaw on the charge against the Pumas in his final test in Christchurch.

Richie McCaw on the charge against the Pumas in his final test in Christchurch. Photo: Photosport

"McCaw's captaincy style has always been founded on leading from the front and he has remained true to the All Black values despite his celebrity status. Even in the twilight of his career, the flanker's relentless work-rate, courage and skill make him an absolutely critical cog in the All Black machine going into the 2015 tournament," the paper said.

The article, though, didn't say what qualified McCaw as the most power person in world rugby.

New Zealanders in the Daily TelegraphTop 50

1st: Richie McCaw (New Zealand)

6th: Warren Gatland (Wales coach)

8th: Steve Hansen

11th: Joe Schmidt (Ireland coach)

13th: Sean Fitzpatrick (former All Blacks captain)

14th: David Kirk (former All Blacks captain)

17th: Jonah Lomu (former All Black)

19th: Dan Carter (All Blacks first-five)

21st: Kieran Read (All Blacks number eight)

34th: Steve Tew (NZ Rugby CEO)

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs

We have regular online commentary of local and international sport.